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destined to livings in the national church, without any respect to fitness and qualification. Their appointment to their high vocation is made without any calculations of subsequent character and competency. No wonder that we have such a rast amount of clerical indolence, feebleness, and profligacy, in every department of the establishment; .according to some estimates, which may be regarded as the one extreme, seven-eighths, and according to others, which may be regarded as the opposite extreme, two-thirds, and according to a medium estimate, accepted as about the truth, four-fifths of the 16,000 clergymen belonging to its communion do not preach the doctrines of grace, as those doctrines are contained in the articles of their own church. This is a fearful statement, and presents the church in a condition the most humbling and degrading. What must be the conclusion of impartial reflection on contemplating the union of church and state? The tendency of such a union appears to be to Hobbeism; making the church a tool for the government, a state engine for the accomplishment of purely civil and national purposes, and all virtue to consist in conformity to civil supremacy. This is confirmed by the fact, that men who know nothing about religion, who make no profession of it, have almost illimitable spiritual powers entrusted to them, have endless patronage and preferment at their disposal.* A single fact would suffice for the proof of this, but many may be adduced. Lord Bolingbroke was a confirmed infidel; his character and writings are well known; he was minister of state in the reign of Queen Anne, and was highly respected by her majesty, and was in more than ordinary repute at court. He had ex-officio the appointment to many livings in the church, from those of the parish priests to the prelates of the land. What flagrant inconsistency there is here, what trifling with divine things ! A man who treats the Bible as a cunningly devised fable -the ministry of the Gospel as a system of priestcraft-and Jesus Christ as an impostor, has the appointment of the greatest dignitaries in the church, and has to judge of their spiritual qualifications ! That nothing we write may be extenuated, nor .aught set down in malice,' we cite a passage or two from unquestionable church authorities, on the topic of patronage. Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, the reputable advocate of ecclesiastical toryism, and of the claims of an establishment, has the following very powerful and striking argument.
“The trusts of the church are admitted to be, and used as patronage, in the most vulgar and corrupt sense of the term ; and the minister of state, who bestows them regularly, does it to enrich his connexions, reward his adherents, or bribe his opponents.-Why is this man made a bishop ? He has been tutor in one noble family, or is connected by blood with another, or he enjoys the patronage of some polluted female favourite of royalty, or he is the near relative of a minister, or at the nod of the premier, or he has been a traitor to the church in a matter affecting her existence.
w* In a Letter addressed to the Lord Chancellor on the present state of the established church," in Blackwood's Magazine, Feb. 1832, the preceding statements are confirmed. The writer makes a powerful defence for the establishment, but contends that the present system of patronage hangs as a dead weight upon the church's prosperity maintains that the system is poisoned at the fountain by being lodged in the hands of chancellors and premiers; whose moral qualifications sometimes unfit them for, but whose onerous duties always prevent them from making a judicious distribution of patronage. We have no minister,' he says, for ecclesiastical affairs : the business of the church is lumped with the other business of the home department: and there is too much reason to believe that it is carried on with reference to secular ends, and that that portion of the wealth of the church which is at the disposal of the crown, is only considered as so much oil for greasing the wheels of government, in order that the machine of state may roll on more smoothly.'"
Why is this man made a dean? He has married a relative of the home secretary, or he is a turncoat who has joined the enemies of the church in the destruction of her securities, or it is necessary to preserve some powerful family from going into opposition. Why is this stripling invested with an important dignity in the church ? He is an illegitimate son of a member of the royal family, or he is the same to some nobleman, or he belongs to a family which, in consideration of it, will give the ministry a certain number of votes in parliament. And why is this man endowed with a valuable benefice ? He has potent interest, or it will prevent him from giving. farther opposition to measures for injuring the church, or he has voted at an election for a ministerial candidate, or his connexions have much electioneering influence, or he is a political tool of the ministry. At the contest for the University of Oxford which expelled Sir Robert Peel, it was generally asserted that certain members of the ministry used every effort to gain votes for him by offers of church preferment; or, in other words, they used the property of the church as bribes to induce the clergy to support the assailant of her securities against the defender of them. After the carrying of the Catholic question, the preferments, which fell on certain of the apostate bishops or their connexions, proved that these men had been bought with her own property, to turn their sacrilegious hands upon her. The disposal of what is called church patronage in this manner, is not the exception but the rule ; it is not a matter of secresy, or one that escapes public observation; it is looked on as a thing of course; and so far has this monstrous abuse been sanctified by custom, that, while no one expects to see a vacancy in the church filled according to its merit, the filling of it in the most profligate way scarcely provokes reprobation.
** Let us now look at those appointments in the church which are not in the hands of government. A great number of livings are private property. On what principle are they disposed of? The owners fill them without the least regard for qualifications ; they practically give them to their relations while yet in the womb or the cradle; and these relatives enter into orders from no other reason than to enjoy them as private fortunes; or clergymen and others buy such livings solely for private benefit. In the appointment of curates, those are chosen who are cheapest, the least formidable as rivals, and in consequence the most disqualified ; care for the interests of the church is out of the question.
** Thus in the general appointment of the functionaries of the church, whether it rest with the government or individuals, qualification is disregarded. These are some of the inevitable consequences. 1. The office of clergyman is sought by the very last people who ought to receive it. However brainless or profligate a youth may be, he still must enter into holy orders, because his friends have property or interest in the church; perhaps they select him for it, in preference to his brothers, because he happens to be the dunce of the family. 2. The system directly operates, not only to keep ability and piety at the lowest point amidst the clergy, but to render that portion of them which may be forced into orders useless to the church. 3. The clergy and laity are separated from, and arrayed against, each other. The minister has no interest in conciliating, preserving, and increasing his flock; its favour cannot benefit, and its hostility cannot injure him. To give all this the most comprehensive powers of mischief, almost any man may, so far as concerns ability and character, gain admission into holy orders. A clergyman may be destitute of religious feeling, he may be grossly immoral, he may discharge his duties in the most incompetent manner, and lose his flock-he may do almost any thing short of legal crime, and still he will neither forfeit his living, nor draw on himself any punishment.'*"-pp. 112-115.
“* Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, November, 1830."
In conclusion, we give Mr. Gregory's pamphlet our cordial recommendation, both on account of its local and general adaptation for usefulness. Mr. G. has made it evident, that he is a worthy successor of the late excellent and apostolic Joseph Cockin, at Kippin, and well qualified to build on the foundation which that laborious servant of Jesus Christ laid.
CURSORY NOTICES OF NEW PUBLICATIONS. Messrs. Fisher & Co. are proceeding with their “ Historical Illustrations of the Bible,” which are principally selected from the old masters. We have the 8th, 9th, and 10th Parts before us, which fully sustain the expectations we indulged when the first appeared. This work will supply a splendid and instructive series of Scripture prints, valuable as a distinct volume, or as a means of illustrating beautiful editions of the Holy Scriptures. (Fisher, Son, & Co.)
All admirers of true poetry, consecrated to piety and patriotism, must rejoice that an elegant and uniform edition of the Works of Mr. James Montgomery, in four volumes, is undertaken, under the revision of their venerated author. We have received the first volume, which contains the Wanderers of Switzerland - Miscellaneous Poems—the West Indies—and Prison Amusements-with a deeply interesting general preface of an auto-biographical character, which, we doubt not, is as faithful as the beautiful portrait which forms its frontispiece. This edition should be in the library of every well-educated Christian family. (Messrs. Longman, Orme, & Co.)
The Congregational Union of Scotland is the Home Missionary Society for North Britain. At its twenty-ninth annual meeting held in Glasgow, last April, two valuable sermons were delivered by Dr. Matheson and Mr. Alexander, which they have since published. Mr. Alexander's is entitled “ The Spiritual Destitution of our Country, and the best means of Remedying it." To those who regard Scotland as the land of religious privileges this may sound strange, but Mr, Alexander explains that by moral and spiritual destitution, he means destitution of moral and spiritual excellence. He therefore waives the inquiry respecting the amount of provision for the religious necessities of the people, but pronounces their state to be one of deplorable ignorance, irreligion, and vice; and then, with warm and manly eloquence, he points out the Scriptural remedies for their fearful condition. Dr. Matheson has selected a more cheerful theme. His discourse is entitled “ Christian Activity demanded by the Signs of the Times," and supplies a useful antidote to the croakings of that ill-favoured race, who are perpetually depressing others with their own melancholy note" the former times were better than these." We can recommend both sermons to the notice of our readers. (J. Snow.)
“The Domestic Management of the Sick-room, necessary in aid of Medical Treatment for the cure of Diseases, by Anthony Todd Thomson, M.D.," is a volume which meets our ideas of a book that may be useful and safe in the family library. Many volumes on domestic medicine direct the use of very dangerous drugs, by which, too often, irreparable injury is done to the constitution of those children and servants who are unhappily practised upon by family empirics. Dr. Thomson has supplied a desideratum that will be peculiarly acceptable to young wives and mothers, on whom the care of a sick chamber often devolves before they have acquired that knowledge and experience which the treatment of diseases naturally requires. (Longman & Co.)
We are happy to announce “Calvin's Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, translated from the Latin by a beneficed Clergyman of the Church of England," who has done the great reformer justice, both in the preface and the translation. Happy shall we be to see all the expository works of Calvin done into English by the same pen. This small volume is got up cheaply, and contains a large amount of important discussion, both doctrinal and practical. (S. Cornish & Co.)
The Rev. J. A. James, of Birmingham, who is one of the best practical writers o the age, had just published a very useful volume, entitled “The Widow directed to the Widow's God," a class of the afflicted for whose relief, he remarks, hitherto no pious author has produced a separate treatise. The book is divided into three parts—First, Appropriate Suggestions to Widows ; Second, Scripture Examples of Widows; Third, Letters to and from Widows. Since its publication, our honoured brother has himself been bereaved of his excellent partner, and most sincerely do we desire, and thousands will join in our prayer, that in his own widowed state, he may display that submission, and enjoy that consolation, which he has so ably commended to others. The volume is printed in a good type, and will form an excellent present for the bereared. (Hamilton & Co.)
“Longinus on the Sublime” has been newly translated by a Clergyman of Oxford, accompanied with illustrations selected from the richest stores of British literature. It is printed neatly, and published at a low price, which places this unrivalled treatise within the reach of every English reader. (Cornish & Co.)
It is not a little interesting to observe the effect produced on the mind of an educated American, by visiting the scenes and society of Europe. This is illustrated in two agreeable volumes, entitled “ Glimpses of the Old World, or Excursions on the Continent and in Great Britain. By the Rev. John A. Clark, rector of St. Andrews, Philadelphia." The first volume is occupied with the details of his voyage to Gibraltar, Spain, Malta, Sicily, and Naples, and deeply interesting accounts of excur. sions to Baiæ, Pompeii, and Rome. The sketch of “the eternal city" is one of the most faithful, graphic, and interesting, we have ever read. The second volume is devoted to the British Isles, and the account which he gives of men and things in this father-land are alike creditable to his piety and candour, his taste, and intelligence. These volumes cannot fail to be interesting and useful. (S. Bagster & Son.)
“Two specimens of printing in oil colours, representing the Reception at Tanna, and the Massacre at Erromanga, of the Rev. J. Williams and Mr. Harris," are highly interesting, both as to their subjects, and their execution. Mr. Baxter's invention is an era in art, as it could never have been expected that coloured landscapes, of the most delicate and beautiful tints, could have been produced by any method of printing. As to the subjects, they are in striking and painful contrast. The reception of the apostolic Williams at Tanna, is all that we could wish in such a picture—but his massacre at Erromanga is, to use the words of printed description, of “a startling and appalling character.” “The natives are in wild commotion, every countenance expressive of the most diabolical malice and rage,-intent on the work of death." The tropical scenery which forms the back ground is most beautiful. "The distant prospect pleases,"_but in the tragic scene immediately before the spectator, “man" appears 80“ vile" that the eye naturally turns from it with pain and sorrow. As affecting memorials of the last days of the apostle of Polynesia, these prints deserve a place in the cabinets of those who love to see art devoted to the cause of philanthrophy and religion. (George Baxter.)
" Your Life, by the Author of My Life, by an Ex-Dissenter,'" is a catchpenny novel, “written to assist in re-establishing in the minds and hearts of men in this country, a respect and love for the one only true Catholic and apostolic church of Great Britain.” The introduction contains some projects to effect this, and amongst others," that two millions of money, at least, should be annually appropriated by the nation to the building and endowment of churches, as well as in providing for the spiritual pastors and teachers of those parishes which were most wantonly plundered, (by lay impropriation we suppose,) and to which, to this hour, no compensation has been made." A pretty item for Mr. Goulbourn's proximate budget truly! Dissenters N. 8. VOL. V.
may learn from such hints what the advocates of " old church principles" will attempt, if the nation should give them the opportunity. (J. Fraser.)
As “Ancient History' is intimately connected with the interpretation of the sacred Scriptures, we are happy to see that the Tract Society has commenced a series of historical works on the nations of antiquity, based upon the immortal work of Rollin, but enriched with authentic matter collected from other sources, both ancient and modern. “The History of the Carthaginians," and of “the Egyptians," are now before us, printed in medium 8vo.; the former with a map for sixteen pence, and the latter with two maps, and 116 pages, for two shillings! (Tract Society, St. Paul's.)
“The Library of Standard Divinity," which we noticed in the beginning of this volume, continues to be enriched from month to month with some valuable piece of divinity, or a commentary on some portion of the Sacred Scriptures. Of the former, we have received Dr. Thomas Goodwin's Christ Set Forth, &c.—John Bunyan's Doctrinal Discourses and Bellamy's True Religion Delineated; and of the latter, Professor Bush on the Book of Genesis-Dr. Thomas Manton on the Lord's Prayer-and Albert Barnes's Notes on the Epistles to the Corinthians. The character of these authors is sufficiently known, and it is only for us to express our satisfaction that such writers are reprinted in so neat and economical a form. (Ward & Co.)
THE EDITOR'S TABLE.
Records of female piety, comprising Sketches of the Lives and Extracts from the Writings of Women eminent for Religious Excellence. By James A. Huie. Edinburgh : Oliver & Boyd; and Simpkin, Marshall, & Co. London. 12mo.
The History of the Hebrew Nation, from its first origin to the present time. By the Rev. J. W. Brooks. R. B. Seeley & W. Burnside, and L. & G. Seeley, London. 12mo.
Longinus on the Sublime. A new translation, chiefly according to the improved edition of Weiske. Designed for the use of English readers in general. By a Master of Arts of the University of Oxford. London: S. Cornish & Co. 12mo.
A Course of Lectures to Young Men, by Ministers of different Denominations, in Glasgow and neighbourhood. Glasgow: William Collins. 12mo.
The Eucharist not an Ordinance of the Christian Church, being an attempt to prore that eating Bread and drinking Wine in commemoration of Jesus Christ is not obligatory upon Christians. By Joseph Goodman. London : Sherwood, Gilbert, & Piper. 12mo.
Sermons Preached in the Church of united parishes of St. Andrew's by the Wardrobe, and St. Ann, Blackfriars. By the Rev.John Harding, M.A., Rector. London: R. B. Seeley & W. Burnside. 12mo.
The Modern Judea, Ammon, Moab, and Edom, compared with ancient prophecy. By the Rev. James Aiken Wylie, Dollar. Glasgow: William Collins. 12mo.
Memoirs of British Female Missionaries, with a Survey of the conditions of Women in Heathen Countries. By Jemima Thompson. London: W. Smith. 12mo.
Memoir of the Rev. Robert Findlater ; together with a narrative of the Revival of Religion, to which are prefixed Memoirs of his parents. By the Rev. W. Findlater. Glasgow: William Collins. 12mo.
Summer and Winter in the Pyrenees. By Mrs. Ellis. London: Fisher, Son, & Co. 8vo.
The Lady's Closet Library. The Hannahs, or Maternal Influence on Sons. By R. Philip. London: George Virtue. 12mo.
The Calvinism of the Church of England. London: J. Nisbet & Co. 12mo.